SoundCloud’s music streaming service launches in the US
Just over a week ago, Soundcloud announced a licensing deal with Sony Music, agreeing to terms with the third of the three major record labels. It looks like the deal with Sony was the only thing keeping the company from debuting its long-discussed streaming service. As of today, listeners in the US can stream music via SoundCloud Go: a $10 unlimited ad-free monthly subscription. SoundCloud doesn’t only want to be a go-to spot for emerging artists, remixes and podcasts, but now it wants the be the app where you do all of your music listening.
What makes SoundCloud an attractive option alongside the likes of Apple Music, Spotify and others? Well, it’s the remix and one-off content. The company says that adding a full-on streaming service to its existing content library makes it “the ultimate music streaming choice for both artists and fans.” Reports of SoundCloud’s subscription plans have been circulating for some time now, and the company confirmed a streaming service was in the works in 2014. While originally planned to launch last year, SoundCloud Go’s arrival follows a handful of licensing deals with both indie and major labels that ensure everyone is properly compensated.
If you’ve used a music streaming app before, there won’t be any surprises here. SoundCloud already offers playlists and stations, both of which are key features for any subscription service. You can use those tools for the newly added streaming library as well. And yes, you’ll be able to save tracks for offline listening should the need arise. You can also follow friends and artists so you’ll know when new material is posted. In terms of the interface, the app looks very similar to the existing SoundCloud offering, just with a lot more music to choose from.
SoundCloud boasts 175 million monthly listeners, so it will be interesting to see how many of those users the company can convert to paid subscriptions. Until now, SoundCloud’s revenue relied on paid creator accounts. However, it could certainly see some success converting its faithful listeners if only for the convenience of having access to everything in one place. We gotten our hands on the app yet, so we can’t offer any critique on the depth of the streaming library. However, we’ll post some hands-on impressions as soon as the application hits iTunes and Google Play.
If you’re already champing at the bit to try it out, and you live in the US, you can do so free of charge for 30 days. After the trial period is up, SoundCloud Go will set you back $10 a month on Android and the web. iOS users will have to pay $3 more to cover the transaction fee Apple tacks on to in-app purchases. The streaming service is available through the existing SoundCloud app and web interface, so you can give it a listen at work and on the go. For folks living in other locales, the company says the streaming service will expand to other countries later this year.